Does your dog have what it takes to be crowned Australia’s hardest workingdog? Put it to the test by nominating it for the 2019 Cobber Working DogChallenge.
No matter the breed or work they do, owners of working dogs are encouraged tonominate their canine co-workers. Two dogs from each Australian state will beselected from the nominations to compete in the fourth annual CobberChallenge.
The Cobber Challenge tracks the dogs’ work over a three week period; this yearfrom Monday 12 August to Sunday 1 September.
Each of the 12 competing dogs will wear a GPS collar to track how hard theywork in their natural environment. The competitors will be scored based ondistance, speed and duration of work per day. Their data will be uploadeddaily, so people can follow the performance of individual dogs, as well as thebest performing state. Points will be calculated based on this information tocrown the 2019 Cobber Challenge champion.
Boof, a Kelpie that works on a mixed farm in south-west Victoria, took out thetitle last year.
Then six-years-old, Boof had a late dash of activity to edge out thecompetition in the last days of 2018 Cobber Challenge. Over the three weeks,Boof ran over 630km at an average of 10.62km/h, totals that surprised ownerHenry Lawrence.
“I knew he’d do a lot, but in the last week, when work picked up, he piled onthe kilometres. One morning when we were shifting a mob, he covered around40km, and then another time he clocked almost 70km for the day,” said Henry.
He said it was fortunate Boof was picked to compete last year, because inrecent months, Boof’s been forced to slow down.
“Boof broke his leg. He was trodden on by a bull, but X-rays show it’s healingwell,” said Henry.
“Boof will go into a more casual, part-time role in the team when he’srecovered. He’s earned it.”
Henry works with three other dogs, including one of Boof’s daughters, Grace,who is showing great potential. Henry thinks she’ll be his next main dog, butshe has a lot to live up to.
“Boof’s a pretty great dog – he can work a mob of sheep through a mob ofcattle or vice versa or go ’round them both if I want, he just seems to knowwhat I’m after so it’s pretty special.”
Ian Moore, Group Marketing Manager of Ridley which produces Cobber, said histeam was excited to open the nominations for another year and they couldn’twait to see the entries.
“The Cobber Challenge celebrates Australian working dogs that are tough,resilient, smart and dedicated,” Ian said.
“Working dogs are essential members of farming teams thanks to their naturalinstincts to herd and work hard. Farmers tell me a good dog can do the work ofat least two or three people.”
Nominations will be open for three weeks from today (Monday 17 June) to Sunday7 July.
To nominate your working dog, visit www.cobberchallenge.com.au
Image: Victorian competitor Henry Lawrence and his Kelpie Boof won lastyear’s Cobber Challenge, during which Boof ran over 630km at an average of10.62km/h.
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